Flood forecasts receding

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Flood waters approach a home on Kind Street Thursday near Rose Lake.

COEUR d'ALENE - The Coeur d'Alene River at Cataldo is expected to crest this morning nearly three-quarters of a foot below flood stage.

The water level will be more than a foot below an earlier forecast for the river.

"This cool weather is really helping us out," said Maj. Ben Wolfinger, a spokesman for the Kootenai County sheriff and emergency management office. "It's really slowed the melting" of snow.

After cresting, the river level is expected to begin dropping slowly over the next week, he said.

Lake Coeur d'Alene is forecast to crest late Saturday, and remain below flood stage by a few inches. Earlier this week, the lake was expected to exceed flood stage.

The volume and speed of water flowing in the Spokane River below Post Falls dam is very dangerous, Wolfinger said. He recommended people stay out.

The river at the dam was running at 32,700 cubic feet per second on Thursday, Wolfinger said.

East of Coeur d'Alene, in the community of Rose Lake, the west end of King Street is covered in water. A couple homes there have water in their yards.

Rose Creek Road is closed near Highway 3 because the road is covered with water, but no structures appeared to be affected Thursday afternoon. Sections of Dudley Road, west of Cataldo along the Coeur d'Alene River, are under a few inches of water.

Kelly Brownsberger, road supervisor for the Post Falls Highway District, said the district is keeping a close watch on Harbor Island, which sits on the south side of the river about halfway between Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls.

After the floods of 1996, when the entire island was sandbagged, officials have kept a close eye on it.

The island, accessed by bridge from Riverview Drive, is full of homes. The district hauled a load of sand to the island to make sandbags.

He said Matheson Road, north of Hauser Lake, has a couple inches of water completely covering it for about 50 to 100 feet.

North Hauser Lake Road had water flowing over it about a week ago, but now water is only partially covering the roadway, Brownsberger said.

Worley Highway District doesn't have any roadways under water, a district representative said.

Lake Pend Oreille is still rising and is expected to crest next week more than a foot below flood stage, Wolfinger said.

Rose Creek Road is currently not drivable due to large amounts of water over the area.

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